Article courtesy of TCA | April 9, 2015 | The Times of Central Asia| Shared as educational material
BISHKEK (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s ecologists have registered a high content of poisonous substances in Central Asia’s longest river, Syrdarya, and said its water is not recommended for use for agriculture and fishery, Today.kz (www.today.kz) reported.
Scholars from the South Kazakhstan State University have analyzed the Syrdarya water during three years in four countries that share the river basin — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The work will be finished this year and its results will be submitted to governments of the four countries.
The ecologists say the water of Syrdarya contains a high content of such heavy metals as mercury, lead, zinc, copper, chromium, nickel, and molybdenum.
According to Uilesbek Besterekov, professor of the South Kazakhstan State University, the highest concentration of poisonous substances was registered in the Syrdarya waters close to Uzbekistan. The scholar said it will be very difficult to purify the water — first it is necessary to get to know which industrial enterprise of which country is responsible for its contamination. The scholar says the water would be safe for use not earlier than 10 years after purification.
Syrdarya’s high contamination was earlier reported by Malik Burlibayev, deputy director of Kazakhstan’s independent agency of applied ecology, the Fergana information agency reported. At a roundtable in 2009, he said that Syrdarya was so much contaminated that its water must be banned for both drinking and irrigation. According to Burlibayev, rice grown in Kazakhstan’s Kyzylorda province and irrigated with Syrdarya water can not be used as food because it might cause cancer.
In 2002, Vladimir Solodukhin of Kazakhstan’s National Nuclear Center said that almost the entire basin of Syrdarya and Amudarya rivers was contaminated with radionuclides, Fergana reported.
The basin of Syrdarya river is home to three provinces of Kyrgyzstan (Naryn, Jalal-Abad, Osh), the Sughd province of Tajikistan, six provinces of Uzbekistan (Andijan, Namangan, Fergana, Tashkent, Jizzakh, Syrdarya), and two provinces of Kazakhstan (South Kazakhstan and Kyzylorda).